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Home/News and Feature Articles/*Featured Cars and Trucks/Pontiac Featured Cars/ 1960s Cars/

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Before the current repaint and rebuild, the Broussard GTO looked darn good . . . but it doesn't hold a candle to what it's going to look like now.

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Late 80's Configuration. First son's Graduation photo.

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1967 Pontiac GTO - Charles Broussard's blue beauty started out looking a bit different but the changes were worth it
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By Society Staff – reprint with permission only

Sometimes we feature a car that's on its way to being done, because the trip is half the fun - though usually not to the owner. Charles Broussard's GTO is an example of that, for two reasons; one, because the car is on it's fourth rehab/repaint and two; because it's be in Charles' possession since DAY ONE.

It's typical in that the car changed to reflect what was going on in the owner's life. It stated out as a burgundy/black vinyl top bench seat car, because Charles and his wife had a young child, and ended up (now) as a bucket seat car painted 2006 Corvette LeMans Blue Metallic. Along the way, it went through a bunch of changes . . . but in the end, it will be one beautiful car, when it is back together.

Charles' story is not really unique, there are plenty of guys out there with their original cars who have or are in the process of restoration and there are many people who have grabbed up a car and then started the process of restoration, only to find out it needs more than was expected.

But that is what makes this story great - it's a real story - and true story and a testament to love of cars and the heritage they bring to us. In this, follow along and feel the story - it's a great one, with Charles and his son Steven telling the story.

First Steven:

I figured SOMEBODY ought to tell the history of this car, and then I'll let my dad add all of the rest.

My dad decided that he wanted a GTO, but was going to wait until the 68's came out and then get one. When he finally saw the first pictures of the 68's he thought it was the ugliest car he had ever seen (his words, not mine). So he began looking for a 67 that was still on the lot. He and my mom were living in Covington (LA) at the time and the only dealership that still had 67's was in New Orleans.

They had two 67 GTO's on their lot. One had a white interior with buckets with either a his/hers shifter for the automatic or a four-speed manual, I can't remember, but I'm betting that my dad remembers every option that one had. The other one was burgundy with a black vinyl top and a black bench seat with the column shift automatic. Of course my dad wanted the one with the buckets, but seeing how my oldest sister was less than a year old, my mom told him that he couldn't have a white interior with a baby, so that settled that burgundy one.

She also told him that "IF" she let him get this car it had to keep it long enough to take my sister to her high school graduation, because he was changing cars like underwear back then.

He agreed and started haggling with the salesman over the price, and they didn't see eye to eye on this at all. My dad left without the car and drove to some little coffee shop right before he got back on the causeway to go home, and then he decided to go back and give it one more try. I'm not sure of the number of times he left the dealership without the car and went to that same coffee shop and then returned to the dealership, but it was quite a few if I remember correctly.

The salesman knew that he wanted that car in a bad way, and eventually my dad paid what was listed on the window sticker, which he still has (see right) right down to the penny. It came equipped with a 400 with a Quadrajet and a TH-400 with a 3.23 rear gear.

And if you're still following this, Yes, it took my two sister's and their first brother to their high school graduations... it was not running for mine.

It was eventually repainted another dark blue without the vinyl top and he added some 14" Rally II wheels, in 1978. I remember getting my butt ripped for playing "Dukes of Hazard" and sliding across the hood when it was stripped waiting to be repainted. (By the way you can't slide good over primer). Some where in that time, he also added disc brakes from a 78 or 79 Firebird.

I've only been allowed to drive this car maybe 5 times in my entire life.

Charles tells of the GTO's acquisition with a little more detail:

I had been wanting a GTO since I came back from Germany in 1964. Before, that though, I went through a 1964 Corvair Monza Spyder Turbo convertible and a 1965 Buick Special coupe (6 cylinder, three on the tree) with NO power whatsoever.

Finally, one night while watching TV, there was a GTO commercial with 25 seconds of a GTO doing all it's stuff, then in the last 5 seconds, they stop the action with the car flying in the air after going over a rise in the road, car is about a foot in the air, announcer says "GTO, get one before you are too old to enjoy it!" End of commercial, end of my wife Millie's arguments on why not to buy it!

So I had Dick Letsch Pontiac in Covington put me at the top of the list to see the first pictures of the 68 AND the option sheet, so I could have the FIRST new one to hit Covington's streets. Well, Dick Jr. called me to say "come on down, we got all the stuff"! I got there and just about threw up, when I saw what the new model looked like. I won't repeat any words I may have used.

Told him to "find me a 67!" and left. He called me a couple of days later saying, "Charlie, there are only two left anywhere between Pensacola and Corpus Christie, and they are at Pattison Pontaic in N.O. You will have to deal with them yourself, because we will not deal with them!'

So, I took the next day off and we went to N.O. They had two, a Blue one with white buckets, and a Burgundy one with a bench seat. Really wanted the Blue one, but not with buckets with a new baby girl, so..... the burgundy one was the choice.

Millie made me promise to "Keep it forever", little did she know.... Now she's wondering why I spend all my pennies keeping a promise.

As you can see form the picture of the window sticker, the price was $3996.80, so I started by offering $3200, I think. He turned me down. He said, "If you want that car, you'll give me $3996.80 plus tax, title and license". Well, no one can treat me like that, right? So, we left......Seven times!

Just before having to pay the causeway toll, I'd look at Millie and say "I HAVE TO HAVE THAT CAR." The last time I walked in, I just walked up to the guy's nose and said "HOW MUCH DAMN IT?" I think it was 10:30 PM when we got home, took all day! Had to drive it home in the dark!

Promptly took the next week off and drove it to El Paso, just so's I could get the FEEL of this machine!

The car was first a family transport, then a part-time driver, then repainted dark blue and the vinyl top stripped off, then a new interior was fitted, this time with the bucket seat, console and gauges, his/hers shifter, and a bunch of other options Charles had wanted from the outset.

Charles says: " I could never bear to do anything to her that would not be very easy to reverse. With that being said, all the original parts are in storage and not for sale at any price."

It stayed this way and did become the car that drove his daughter to graduation, Charles kept his promise to his wife, and now he's keeping a promise he made to himself - to make the car better than original - but with the flavor of how it would have been "back in the day".

Let the pictures tell the story, and you will see that the results are going to be dramatic. This will be one heck of a GTO. And we can't wait to see it cruising the streets of Louisiana one day soon!

Now, it's my turn to add some details to this life story of this car and myself and my family.

This automobile has never let me down and I don't intend to let it down. My 2nd Dad (Uncle) was really mad when I drove up in it as he said "You will have 10 new cars before I get rid of my 68 Chevy pick up I just bought". I tried to explain to him how I finally had hold of what I really wanted and we made a bet on it! He passed away in 1982, but he had gravitated to showing his friends how you could "eat off of the engine" before he did. I could never get rid of it, for just that reason alone! He was the smartest ,finest man I have ever known and I cannot or will not let him down either!

Promises to others in life are made only when you mean to keep them!

I will try to continue the story where Bob left off.

After bringing the shell home, I lifted the body off the frame for the first time in it's life and set about restoring every little thing. Some of the modifications being made to make this automobile not only serviceable, but safe to drive in this environment of today include Hydroboost braking, Ram Air induction, Alarm/Remote entry, Monochromatic mirror, Turn signal LEDs in the sport mirrors, Cruise Control, Backup camera, frame receiver hitch, electric trunk release, probably the only Rally Gauge package with a Voltmeter in it, Power Windows, Vacuum gauge, etc. etc. etc.

She has always been cutting edge on technology and we aren't going to let her be a slouch now!

We finally finished it on October 8, 2012 and drove it to Biloxi, MS for Cruisin' the Coast 2012. Millie and I had not stayed there since our honeymoon in 1965. I think the greatest fun was letting my youngest son Steven drive it on all of the Cruises while I just rode shotgun. We put about 600 miles on it while down there. That and making some of his friends drive it and have them all tell me "It drives so solid it's like a brand new car".

Heck, it is. Even better now. And just as much fun as it was on the first day!

Charles

Here's how the car was optioned when delivered.

The car looked something like this when it was delivered.

After a few years, it reveived a repaint and now had a look more like the car Charles had seen in the dealership but did not buy

The lead in photo shows how it looked after the second repaint. Here it is fulfilling Charles' promise to his wife - to still be around for his daughter's graduation. It was going to be around much, much longer.

Over time, the interior went from bench seat and pretty much standard Pontiac GTO to full gauges, buckets, console, his/hers, etc.

Time and the propensity of 1966-67 A-bodies to collect water resulted in damage. And the RH quarter needed some serious repairs.

Mishaps can be a big bad enemy. Here's what they discovered.

Here's what it looked like when finished.

On it's way to the painter almost 3 yrs ago.

Striping down to bare metal.

Back from the painter - WOW!

This is going to be one beautiful car.

Lifting the body.

Getting the frame ready.

Getting driveable.

Hydroboost brakeing.

A little wiring!

She's finally Done.

Cruisin' the Coast 2012